"Paths are being created by taking them" Trekki's Profile

Hello and welcome to my travels and thoughts @ Virtualtourist :-)

Let me quote Albert Einstein. His words describe my travel philosophy and me much better than I can do so my humble English :-)

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose the holy curiosity.

This is how I live my life, how I have arranged my new work environment and how I travel. And this is what will always drive me, what sparks me, what I am burning for.

My preferred travel style is to pack my things, get on a plane, bus, train or into my car and start exploring. Exploring to me means that I try to immerse into a destination as much as possible, feel it, breathe the spirit it emanates, talk to the locals, or not talk at all, learn as much as I can from what surrounds me and enjoy the atmosphere of a town, a region our a country. Consequently this means that I try not to race through a country or a destination but stay there for a couple of days to get an idea of where I am and to develop a feeling for the place.

I think my travel habits are this way because I used to stay in 5-star hotels during business travels; I simply don't like to stay in a luxury chain hotel during my private tours. Apart from that: luxury travel in these kinds of hotels is just absolutely not me. It is too unreal and does not at all inspire my emotions. In addition, wherever I have been on business trips, I was being dragged to the famous places, taken to first class restaurants and then dropped back to the hotel. I was in Rio de Janeiro several times for example but I never was really there, because I could not spend time to wander around. This is maybe a reason why I don’t like the famous places and destinations but prefer the lesser known ones: there I can wander around, can live my own slow pace, find details and stories and pieces of history.

Another reason why I like the lesser known destinations is very simple: I don’t like when countries are being “reduced” to three or four famous destinations only. So no off-the-rack stuff for me please. I am absolutely no “mainstream” traveller but do the things I like and very often I find the most marvellous sights. And this is why I won't stop to push anything that is "custom made" and personalised, in the original sense of the term :-)

I like cities, villages, towns, hamlets, and nature – everything that is not yet overrun and still has kept an authentic atmosphere. In other words: anything that gives off harmony, peace and serenity. This can be special architecture, rural little towns with just the right amount of wildflowers or scrub growing in gardens, on houses or walls and also churches, museums, trails, market places – anything. I found that I like the grand architectural treasures of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance. Speyer's beautiful grand cathedral for example, and the fabulous Baroque and Rococo churches in southern Bavaria. And of course King Ludwig II's beautiful castles :-)

The Italian regions of Umbria and Marche are good examples. I was travelling through Umbria during three weeks in April 2008; it was one of my most magic trips. I didn’t see anything “spectacular”, but the whole region was spectacular to me because it is so quiet, so peaceful, so harmonic and because it holds many exciting discoveries literally around every corner. Like my most favourite town of all, my beloved Gubbio. In the following years I have discovered more of Umbria itself and its neighbour Marche and just came back again and again to find more fascinating places in the middle of Italy.

I found “my” countries and this means that I will not keep records of countries I have visited or lists of UNESCO sites. Although I fully understand the idea behind UNESCO sites, I prefer to define my personal heritage on our planet. I also don’t need to see the Seven Wonders of the World because I define my personal wonders. All these I can easily find in my preferred countries Germany and Italy, and there the regions of Rheinland-Pfalz, Bavaria, Umbria and Marche to be precise.

Colours of white, blue and green give me peace. Colours of puffy clouds, of water and of green plants and trees, of forest, of mountains. Wildflowers in all colours of the spectrum. Windy and rainy regions, old stone houses, old wooden houses, castles and fortresses, thick forest, rivers. Historical and religious events throughout Germany and Italy. Charming authentic people who are proud of their traditions and values. Delicious local food, Italian caffè, German cakes, Palatinate specialities and wine.
This is my world during travels.
This is where I am.
This is where the words of Goethe's Easter Walk "Here I am Human, here dare it to be!" give sense and a meaning to me.
This is where I do not need to play that ridiculous "super" corporate business person-knows-it-all role I was once expected to play in the daily zoo or comedy theatre.

This is where I am surrounded by humans and not by any member of the clone army....

Einstein wrote about the awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the structure of reality. This is what I find in all my travels now and more and more just every day.

Live my five senses every day. This is my goal. I am getting there. And I experience this every single day whenever I am in Italy and in Germany's regions of Rheinland-Pfalz and Bavaria :-)

See something magic, be it a magnificent sunshine and cloud scenario after a thunderstorm. See the life in the people on the streets. See kids playing. See people chatting. See the colourful flags decorating Italian towns during the festivals. See the enchanting vineyards in Palatinate. See the magnificent Bavarian Alps. See them from the balcony of Neuschwanstein Castle. See the colours of a rainbow after a storm. See the colours of sunset and sunrise. See sunset especially on the façade of Speyer's cathedral. See the spring colours exploding. See how the earth wakes up at 5 in the morning and how the colour shades change every minute. See sunflower fields in summer. See poppies in the fields in summer. See how red-currant berries turn red. See the magnificent colours of autumn, in forests and vineyards.

Hear the bells in Gubbio every fifteen minutes. Hear Gubbio's Campanone. Hera the bells of Speyer's cathedral. Hear the sound of silence when I am somewhere walking in the forest. Hear the ripple of a little creek. Hear the rushing waters of Bavarian river gorges. Hear the trees in Palatinate forest talking. Hear the sound of an approaching thunderstorm above the clouds. Hear the birds sing. Hear people chatting. Hear cows moo-ing (and think of fresh milk). Hear stones of houses talk about their history. Hear classical music and Latino music. Hear the wind howling.

Taste the first caffè in the morning. Taste the delicious meals in “Redibis” restaurant in Bevagna and weep of joy. Taste delicious Sagrantino wine in Umbria. Or taste delicious house wine anywhere else in Italy. Taste Palatinate "Saumagen". Taste Riesling wine. Taste Bavarian beer. Taste Semmelknödel. Taste Palatinate onion cake and new still fermenting wine. Taste tiny green wild asparagus. Taste raspberries and blackberries. Taste wild strawberries. Taste fresh water from a spring in the mountains. Taste wild herbs, especially yarrow and nettle.

Smell the aroma of caffè inside and outside every caffè bar in Italy. Smell the overwhelming aroma of the wildflowers. Smell lilac. Smell the aroma on the piazza in Gubbio. Smell the flowing Rhein River. Smell fresh cut grass. Smell the air after rain. Smell mushrooms in the forest. Smell the sea breeze. Smell lemons from Amalfi. Smell the air after thunderstorms in the mountains. Smell summer, smell spring, smell autumn, smell winter.

Feel the affection of the people I meet along my travels. Feel the raindrops on my skin. Feel the sun on my skin. Feel the grass under my naked feet. Feel the cooling water of a little creek. Feel the coolness of the stones of old houses in Italy. Feel the happiness and friendliness of people in Palatinate. Feel the love people in Gubbio have for their patron saint Sant’Ubaldo an feel the love many people in Bavaria still have for their former King Ludwig II. Feel the heart beat when finding something new and exciting. Feel the softness of a stone which water sculptured. Feel the passion of people living their traditions, their culture, their values. In Italy, in Rheinland-Pfalz, in Bavaria. Feel peace.

Find yet another new discovery, a church, a hermitage, a charming town, sweet people, a marvellous view.
Find yourself - myself.

Be. (and not play roles or do what others do just to be hip or in)

My pages on @Virtualtourist
Writing about my travels is something I am really enjoying. However, I prefer to write as thorough as possible rather than bits and pieces about the destinations I visit. Hence I am rather slow in adding new pages. To make it easier following my new contributions, I have created an album with new and updated pages in chronological order.

Some of my travel contributions date back to 2004, when I became member of the site. Reading my old pages nowadays makes me feel embarrassed about my rather sloppy wording and short texts which I wrote without proper research. My English skills have improved strongly over the years, especially due to the cordial revision by dear friends and by reading excellent contributions of VTers. In addition my enthusiasm for proper research increased too, another reason why I am slow in adding new pages. As a consequence, I am going through some of my early pages and replace the worst by slightly polished wording. This is for the pages about Heidelberg, Darmstadt (both finished), Speyer, Worms and Marburg. Hence these will appear “updated” but without new reviews. I’ll leave my other old pages, especially about destinations in US and Latin America as they are. Maybe I will have the time to work on wording and background one day.

  • Intro Updated Feb 6, 2015
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